Issue #90

Spring 2024


by Tim Boiteau

Cminqe (true pronunciation unknown) is a species of colonial organism of debatable classification once thought to be a myth until the discovery of fossil evidence of its spiny sail in the 21st century in the Cminqe Mountains.

Cminqe may also refer to:

—the Cminqe Mountains in the Northwest Territories, Canada

—Cminqe Peak, the highest peak of the Cminqe Mountains, which had been perpetually buried beneath snow until the late 1990s

The Song of Cminqe, an ancient, sprawling boustrophedonic text carved into the sunless northern cliff face of Cminqe Peak, which was presumed to be composed by the scribes of the Cminqe people and whose gargantuan size and ponderous shape reflects that of the organism of the same name

—the city of Cminqe, whose ruins were excavated near Cminqe Peak in the late '90s

—the Cminqe people, an extinct tribe of indigenous Canadians who vanished over several decades in the 1700s

—Bridgett Cminqe (1961-2005?), the archaeologist and philologist that led the excavation of the city of Cminqe and who was working on the decipherment of The Song of Cminqe before her disappearance in the mid-oughts

—Cminqe Lab Collective, an academic group funded by the NIH and run by Cminqe and various of her protegees, notably Anthony Cminqe (1979-2014?), who continued the work of his mentor in the studies of The Song of Cminqe and the religion of the Cminqe people until his disappearance in the mid-teens

—the Cminqe Ten, members of the Cminqe Lab Collective, including (listed in the order of their disappearances): Bridgett Cminqe, Anthony Cminqe, Adelaide Cminqe (1962-2015?), Jonathan Cminqe (1975-2017?), Nathan Cminqe (1984-2019?), Jeniffer Cminqe (1985-2019?), Giovanni Cminqe (1986-2020?), Sven Cminqe (1991-2021?), Kirsten Cminqe (1991-2022?), Mikhail Cminqe (1989-2023?)

—the auditory phenomenon (rumbling and crashes) reported in the Cminqe Mountain region by hikers

—a form of super mirage reported during white out conditions in which the veil of the blizzard takes on the appearance of The Song of Cminqe or the giant organism that is its subject

—the system of worship of the Cminqe people at the height of their civilization, before its mysterious destruction

—the god Cminqe, a deity referred to in the first line of The Song of Cminqe, human by birth but magically transformed, described as an eater of worlds

—the process of information corruption whereby words take on the form and meaning of their neighbors, reported first in academic papers on The Song of Cminqe

—a magical process described in The Song of Cminqe and enacted by its full reading, whereby a human being transforms into one of the Thousand Divine Organs of Cminqe and fuses with the other divine organs, becoming the colonial god-organism of the same name

—the currently incomplete online open translation of The Song of Cminqe (link here)

Author Bio


Tim Boiteau lives in Michigan with his wife and son. He is a Writers of the Future winner and author of two novels of dark fiction.